The decisions are a result of the rise of COVID-19 positive cases in the province.
On Feb. 7, the U of R will see a partial return of some in-person classes.
“Some of those classes might be hybrid. We know many of our students want to be back in-person, many of our professors as well,” said Jeff Keshen, U of R president.
“We want to do this in a way that is measured and careful. We want people back on campus. … But we don’t want to overwhelm the campus.”
On Feb. 22, campus activities will return, but with precautionary measures. Athletic activities, for example, will resume but without any spectators.
Keshen said if all goes well with this plan, the U of R will start to see the beginning of an end of this pandemic.
“On March 1st, we will (be) coming back to in-person classes as the way that we anticipated for the winter 2022 term,” he said. “We’re looking at somewhere between 75 and 80 per cent of classes across the U of R and its federated colleges being in-person.”
The USask’s pandemic response and recovery team (PRT) has been closely monitoring the spread of the Omicron variant — including modelling data, wastewater results, COVID-19 testing positivity in the community, and on- and off-campus cases.
USask stated that all classes that are currently being delivered remotely until Feb. 7 and will continue to be in the remote environment, and all classes that are currently being delivered in-person at this time will continue as such.
The university states that employees currently working remotely will receive direct communications from their respective people leaders, along with guidance on next steps.
“Given the data available, it is not anticipated that a further extension of precautionary measures will be required beyond Feb. 7,” according to a USask release. “Knowing that we are living through a quickly changing situation in many parts of Canada, we will continue to monitor and adjust our safety protocols as necessary to ensure the health and wellness of our campus and broader communities.”
Both universities will continue to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and its variants by ensuring those are fully vaccinated and expecting all members of the campus community to obtain their vaccination booster shots as soon as eligible, wearing face masks on campus, using rapid tests when needed, and encouraging those feeling sick to stay home until they have been symptom-free for 48 hours.